'I wanted to do something'
It is not very often that one is forced to live with the memory of watching the lives of five of your family members being taken, execution style.
Yet, this is the burden being carried by 69-year-old Marvin Bloomfield since gunmen invaded his home in March Town, Hanover on the night of October 8, 2015, and killed his wife Lynette, son Mark, daughter Kerian, grandchildren Aliah and Davion Mahabee, and close relative, 29-year-old Brian Mangaroo.
Standing with his hands akimbo, Bloomfield stared towards the graves, "It would be 32 years today. It would be 32 years," he whispered, as if he was speaking to someone in the empty space before him.
Then, as if suddenly remembering that other persons were standing with him, he turned to the Gleaner team and made a profound revelation.
"You are actually here to talk to me today, January 22, the very day we got married 32 years ago," he said, as memories of his murdered wife caused tears to gather in his eyes. "I could not even go by the grave this morning to say happy anniversary, I just sent a text message to her cell phone."
His attempt to conceal his grief was futile, as tears flowed, partially hidden by the cap he wore. He tried to say something else, but not a word came from his trembling lips, as he stooped down and began rearranging the flowers on his wife's grave.
Still in danger
Bloomfield agreed to have his photo taken, after consulting his granddaughters, with the condition that his face is not shown. He is convinced that the lives of the rest of his family are still in danger, especially with only two of the men suspected in the murders in custody.
Bloomfield recalls how his daughter Kerian had just returned from the United States after a two-week vacation and that they had cooked some food, which was shared with community members including one of the alleged perpetrators, who was a close friend to the family.
On the night of the murder, Bloomfield recalled looking on helplessly from a room where he was hiding as the gunmen murdered his beloved wife Lynette and the other family members.
... 'She was begging them not to kill her'
"They told them to lie face down and she was begging and pleading for them not to kill her, but the cold-blooded killer just shot her ... and walked away," said Bloomfield. He said he later heard other shots, which he felt were being directed at his son Mark, daughter Kerian, grand children Aliah and Davion.
"I felt helpless, I wanted to do something, anything to stop this, but I was outnumbered," continued Bloomfield. "My wife and children did not deserve to die this way. My wife was a good, kind-hearted human being.
"Our home was like the community yard; that is how my wife was. She would give away her own dinner to see others satisfied, so who or why would anyone want to take her life?" asked Bloomfield.
Bloomfield recalled one of the perpetrators telling the others that the place must be burned down. He also remembered the sound of the bottle bombs hitting the wooden structure of his house before fire started consuming the building.
"They did not even leave their bodies whole for me to give them a decent burial," said a weeping Bloomfield. "They burnt them like dogs."